Jim Cunningham MP

Labour Member of Parliament for Coventry South

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15,000 pensioners will see their winter fuel payments scrapped if the Conservatives win the General Election. This move would signal the end of universal support for older people and follows on from policy announcements from Theresa May that will hit the eldest hardest.   

Labour’s candidate in Coventry South, Jim Cunningham said;

 

“If you have contributed all of your life it is only fair you have access to a secure and dignified retirement. That is why Labour will protect pensioner incomes by legislating to keep the Triple Lock on state pensions over the lifetime of the next parliament. This means your pension will rise each year by whichever is highest: average earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent.

 

“Labour will also keep Winter Fuel Payments and free bus passes for everyone over the age of 60. Labour will ensure that there is no rise in the State Pension age beyond 66, and we will give the NHS and social care the funding they need, making it easier for you to access the help and health care you may need.

 

“In Coventry South, the choice has never been clearer. It’s between me, someone who has lived in Coventry for 60 years or the Tory candidate who lives in Kent. I will vote to protect pensioner incomes. The Tory candidate will not.”

 

The Tories have launched an all-out attack on pensioners and now older people face four major burdens under a Conservative government. The Tories have announced they would: 

 

  1. Scrap the “Triple Lock” on state pensions after 2020, this means your pension is not guaranteed to increase by 2.5 per cent every year
  2. Raise the State Pension Age, meaning 34 million people will face the prospect of working longer
  3. Means-test Winter Fuel Payments, this means 15,000 pensioners in Coventry South could be left without the financial support they need to heat their home in the winter
  4. Make even more people pay for their own social care. In the last parliament £4.6 billion was cut from social care budgets and now the Tories want to use the value of your property to contribute to the costs of social care at home, making it even harder for pensioners to receive the care they deserve.

 

15,000 pensioners to lose Winter Fuel Payment under the Tories in Coventry South

15,000 pensioners will see their winter fuel payments scrapped if the Conservatives win the General Election. This move would signal the end of universal support for older people and follows...

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Cheryl Sloan, a WASPI leader in the West Midlands, is keen for the WASPI support group in Coventry & Warwickshire to grow. For information email waspicov@yahoo.com or 07760 441 943

Coventry Labour Candidates, Geoffrey Robinson, Jim Cunningham and Colleen Fletcher have pledged their support for women who they say have been 'very badly let down' by increases in the state pension age.

They have pledged their support for the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign group to back calls for pension relief payments for women born in the 1950s.

Launched in 2015, the WASPI campaign is seeking compensation for what it views as the unjust treatment of women who have been left out of pocket due to changes to the state pension age.

Acts of parliament in 1995 and 2011 led to the pension age for women rising from 60 to 65. It is set to come into force in 2018, two years earlier than originally planned.

Campaigners say the changes have left more than three million women in Britain in limbo after they stopped work at 60 only to later find out the retirement age had been extended without adequate notice. 11,000 women in Coventry are affected.

Geoffrey Robinson, the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Coventry North West, said: “The stories from the women affected by the rise in the pension age are truly heart breaking.  These women have worked all their lives, paying into the state pot, only to then find out the rules have been changed. They have been very badly let down.”

Jim Cunningham said: “I have supported this campaign for a long while now and if re-elected, I will continue to work with a cross-section of colleagues in Parliament to push for proper and adequate transitional arrangements for women affected by these changes.  The whole process was done without adequate notice and with no transitional arrangements meaning people haven’t been able to make alternative financial arrangements.”

Colleen Fletcher said: “The lack of notice given regarding changes in the state pension age by the Government has left many women facing real hardship. It is vital that action takes place now, to end the hardship faced by women in Coventry and across the UK, who have worked all their lives, but find that they cannot retire as planned.”

“Sadly the Tories have so far refused to do anything to alleviate the worse cases, claiming that the current social security system was sufficient to meet the needs of everyone. The Tories have completely failed to act to address the plight of these older women.”

Legislation introduced by the Tory government in 1995 and reaffirmed in the Tory coalition Pensions Act of 2011 mean that women born on or after 6 April 1951 are being unfairly hit by an increase in the state pension age. Many of them were entirely unaware of the changes and were not warned by Government agencies prior to their expected retirement. The resulting impact has left many women who have worked their entire life without employment and adequate support, having not been able to put their own arrangements in place.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) do not oppose pension age equalisation, but do not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented. Many people’s retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences due to poor preparation and communication on the Governments part.

The Government’s changes have affected women who would normally have retired earlier under the 1995 Pensions Act. Labour plans to extend eligibility to pension credit to these women, ensuring that they are not forced into the Government’s punitive social security regime.  The Labour Party is calling on the Government to implement these plans, to give vulnerable women in our country some stability until their delayed state pension is available.  The concession would operate for affected women up to 2022.

The local Coventry contact is Cheryl Sloan and can be contacted on 07760 441 943 or waspicov@yahoo.com The WASPI website is www.Waspi.co.uk

Cheryl Sloan, said: “I must make this very clear, we are not against State Pension Age Equalisation, we are protesting at the manner in which these pension reforms have been implemented hitting a specific cohort of women, those born in the 1950s, particularly hard and unfairly.  The 1995 and 2011 Pensions Act, have caused me, indignity, anxiety and despair.  This is because the Government failed to notify me until January 2012, seventeen years after the 1995 Act.   I have lost over £40,000 in state pension and it is far too late in my working life to do anything to compensate for this loss.  Although I have well over the required NI contributions, I have been robbed of my pension, I must wait a further 5 years.  I have had all my options and choices taken from me through no fault of my own.  My husband and I now survive off his pension alone and I mean survive. Our life is spent struggling and juggling our finances.  We are considering moving, we do not want to do this, this is our home and we have lived here for thirty-five years but we can't afford the upkeep of our property, we have spent our savings on day to day living.”

“But I consider myself lucky, I have a husband who has a pension, many of these women are alone, divorced, single even widowed, they have nothing, there is no safety net. They have one option, that of signing on for Job seekers and the regime which comes with it, why should we have to suffer that indignity at our age, we have worked hard all our lives, we've paid our dues, the government should pay out !”

 

WASPI women 'badly let down' says Coventry Labour Candidates, with 11,000 women affected in Coventry

Cheryl Sloan, a WASPI leader in the West Midlands, is keen for the WASPI support group in Coventry & Warwickshire to grow. For information email waspicov@yahoo.com or 07760 441 943 Coventry Labour...

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While ordinary hard working families in Coventry South are worried about falling incomes, insecure employment and cuts to public

services, this out of touch Tory Government have said that they want to bring back fox hunting. 

Despite the polls showing that the public do not want a return to fox hunting, the Prime Minister has revealed she intends to lift the ban. 

The Labour Party banned cruel blood sports in 1999 and implemented the Hunting Act in 2004. However, Theresa May would reverse the ban on fox hunting by holding a free vote on repealing the Act.

Jim Cunningham, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Coventry South, said:

“It’s a warped sense of priorities when Theresa May thinks the return of fox hunting is something the majority of people in this country would support.

“It is absolutely clear that the British public do not want to see a return to hunting with hounds. Voters in Coventry South want their elected politicians to concentrate on important issues like healthcare, public safety and jobs – not on bringing back cruel blood sports. 

“It just shows how utterly out of touch the Tories are that this is their priority. Only Labour can be trusted to fight for working people on the issues that matter. I’m asking everyone in Coventry South to sign Labour’s petition against bringing back fox hunting and send a clear message to the Tories.”

Labour’s candidate for Coventry south slams out-of-touch Tories as PM reveals they want to bring back fox hunting

While ordinary hard working families in Coventry South are worried about falling incomes, insecure employment and cuts to public services, this out of touch Tory Government have said that they...

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Labour have launched a pledge that under a Labour Government, there would be a new set of legal minimum standards for allprivate renters. This will protect renters living in ‘non-decent’ accommodation, who are currently being let down by this Conservative government, that has continued to weaken key legislation. Tougher fines for landlords who continue to rent out substandard housing would be introduced, and councils would be given the powers they need to tackle the worst offenders.

England has 1.3 million sub-standard private rented properties, which are home to 400,000 families with children. Tenants are spending £9.6 billion a year on homes which the government classes as ‘non-decent’. Around a quarter of this, approximately £2.3bn a year, is paid by housing benefit.

Jim Cunningham has welcomed this pledge saying:

‘Renters are too often overlooked within the housing market. This policy will help redress the balance between landlords and renters. The number of families renting from a private landlord has soared since 2010, but increasing numbers of families are being forced into living in substandard conditions, and are too frightened to speak out. This is unacceptable.

The Labour led Council in Newham have implemented a scheme similar to this, and it has led to 1,000 prosecutions and £2 million of council tax recovered, and £300,000 in housing benefit stopped.

In the West Midlands alone, there are 166,179 ‘non decent’ private rented homes, just under half of all private rented homes in the region. Under a Labour Government, there would be a new tougher framework for minimum standards. Landlords would also receive help to bring their properties up to scratch, through a new ‘private rented sector renewal’ loan.

Since 2010, the numbers of families owning their own homes has fallen, the number of new affordable homes being built has risen, and the numbers of those deemed homeless has also increased sharply. The housing crisis has continued to worsen. Under Labour, the standard of homes in the rental market would improve, and investment will be made to build more affordable homes, both for rent and to buy.’ 

Labour's plan to help private renters

Labour have launched a pledge that under a Labour Government, there would be a new set of legal minimum standards for allprivate renters. This will protect renters living in ‘non-decent’...

September_2014_022.jpegPrime Minister Theresa May has called a snap election, due to be held on June 8th. 

Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South said: “The Prime Minister’s decision to hold an early General Election is one more example on a long list of Tory broken promises and u-turns. However, I welcome the General Election to be held on June 8th. This election will give the Labour Party the opportunity to offer the country an alternative to the current Tory Government. The Labour Party is committed to standing up for people. The NHS and our social care system are in a crisis, schools are dramatically underfunded, and increasing numbers of people are in a precarious position, employed on zero-hours contracts.I have seen first-hand how the Tory policies of austerity have affected the people of Coventry South, and a Labour Government offers the opportunity for real change. I will be fighting hard against the Tories in Coventry South. Some of the main issues I will be campaigning on are to protect our NHS from the crippling cuts imposed by this Tory Government, protecting the vital Greenbelt land in Coventry, but most importantly, I want to protect local services, jobs and businesses during Brexit, now, more than ever before, we must come together to avoid the immeasurably damaging ‘hard Brexit’, proposed by Theresa May’s Government”Join Jim's campaign today by clicking here.

Join my re-election campaign

Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap election, due to be held on June 8th.  Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South said: “The Prime Minister’s decision to hold an early...

IMG_0398.jpegJim Cunningham MP has raised his concerns in Parliament, and has met with Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department of Education, about the cuts to school funding which is likely to Coventry harder than other areas across the country.

 

The Conservative Government is changing the school funding formula that will decrease the amount of funding that is available to schools. This is leaving Coventry with total cuts of £29 million by 2019.

 

This is likely to affect many Coventry schools. Sidney Stringer as an example faces a total cut of just over £1.6 million by 2020. This equates to the loss of 46 teachers. Ernesford Grange is also facing a cut of over £485,000 pounds which equals a loss of funding of £936 per pupil.

 

The Conservatives new funding plans will also have an effect on primary schools with schools such as Willenhall Community Primary School losing more than £258,000 which is likely to mean a loss of 8 teachers and Whitley Abbey Primary School loosing over £135,000. This would be a reduction of £553 per pupil.

 

Jim Cunningham MP said;

 

“Coventry schools are facing a £29 million pound budget cut. This is likely to have a severe strain on the school budgets that are already facing huge pressures following years of austerity.

 

“The conservatives promised to protect school funding. The huge cuts that Coventry schools are now facing means an election promise is being broken. Coventry pupils and families deserve better. I will continue to campaign to ensure our schools are protected.”

 

Mr. Cunningham MP is also arranging to visit a number of local schools and discuss the effects of the cuts with the head teachers.

Jim Cunningham MP fights for local school funding

Jim Cunningham MP has raised his concerns in Parliament, and has met with Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department of Education, about the cuts to school funding which...

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On Monday 20th March, Jim Cunningham attended a cross-party reception in Parliament to support the TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign which is seeking to change the law to provide additional employment protection for terminally ill workers.

 

Dying to Work was set up following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

 

Labour MP for Coventry South, Jim Cunningham said: “It is shocking to think that if people with terminal illnesses are dismissed or forced out of their jobs that their loved ones will lose the death in service payments that the employee has planned for and earned through a life-time of hard work.” “That is why I am proud to support this campaign and I hope something will soon be done to ensure that individuals with terminal illness will receive the protection and support they deserve.”

 

Jim Cunningham backs the TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign to protect terminally ill workers

  On Monday 20th March, Jim Cunningham attended a cross-party reception in Parliament to support the TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign which is seeking to change the law to provide... Read more

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Coventry South’s Member of Parliament was honoured to present an award for a team working to support people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in Coventry. For their dedication to providing treatment to sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease the Coventry Integrated MND Team were presented with the Extra Mile Award. This award is given by the MND Association recognises the outstanding support and care that Health and Social Care Professionals are providing people affected by MND. 

MP Celebrates the Success of Motor Neurone Disease Team

    Coventry South’s Member of Parliament was honoured to present an award for a team working to support people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in Coventry. For their dedication... Read more

Jim recently had the pleasure of being interviewed on RaW1251AM, the student radio station at Warwick University.  Jim talked about a range of topics including student issues, Brexit, and the Scottish Independence Referendum.

 

You can listen to the interview at the link below.

Jim on Student Radio

Jim recently had the pleasure of being interviewed on RaW1251AM, the student radio station at Warwick University.  Jim talked about a range of topics including student issues, Brexit, and the Scottish... Read more

 

Coventry South’s MP Jim Cunningham has continued his fight for local government to get fairer funding from central government.  

Speaking in a debate about local government funding, Jim highlighted the scale and depth of the issues faced because of the governments brutal cuts to grants. Jim noted that by 2021 there will be deficit of £33 million across councils in Coventry and Warwickshire. As Jim acknowledged: “Between 2010 and 2020, Coventry’s Government grants will have been cut by 50%. The Government are shifting responsibility for grants on to local authorities.”

Jim also highlighted the way in which this move could have a disastarous impact on small businesses. Noting that “on average, small businesses with fewer than 10 employees could face an increase in rates of around £17,000 a year. Now, that is a lot of money and it could put many small businesses, shops in particular, out of business.”

Speaking after the debate, Jim said,                

“In Coventry the Council has seen its funding cut by £507 per head, the schools budget is £568 lower per pupil and the police has seen its funding cut by 23%.

“By 2020 this Conservative Government will have effectively taken £655 million in funding from Coventry City Council. They claim that this deficit can be patched up with increased business rates. However I believe that will only end up putting unnecessary strain and pressure on small business owners in Coventry.

“When a service is reduced in our city the blame lies firmly at the door of this Conservative Government. They claim to provide billions more in funding but the reality is, they give with one hand and then take twice as much with the other.”

Coventry MP continues the fight for fairer local funding

  Coventry South’s MP Jim Cunningham has continued his fight for local government to get fairer funding from central government.   Speaking in a debate about local government funding, Jim...

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